Sports enthusiasts from France and Israel expressed disappointment over the exclusion of the bullock-cart race from the Kila Raipur games, which began on Thursday.
The visitors claimed that they had come to know about the Supreme Court stay on bull races only after their arrival here for the rural sports festival.
Pierre Antoine Harlaux, a Frenchman, said, “We are touring the country to watch various sports festivals. We came here with great expectations regarding the bullock-cart event. Our hopes have been dashed.”
He added that their group, which has eight members, would now focus on the Jaisalmer Desert Festival in Rajasthan.
Pierre said they had heard exciting stories about bullock-cart races from their friends who had attended the festival in recent years.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Israeli national Lola said, “Several animal races are organised in India. Why should the bull races be singled out for a ban? The apex court should do a rethink on this sport which is widely popular among farmers.”
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a farmer said: “The Supreme Court has taken a very harsh decision. The bullock-cart race draws huge crowds. We have spent lakhs of rupees on these bulls. Now, these have become worthless for us.”